Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit


Executive Board Members, Officer Columns, President's Message

Ray Hair – AFM International President

Jingles, Games, Relocation and Symphonic Media

As you know, much of my time this year has been consumed by negotiations toward agreements covering the services of our union members when recording commercial spot announcements (jingles), video games, and in symphonic electronic media. At the same time, I have been busy evaluating options for the relocation of Federation headquarters when our existing […]

Relocation: A Decades-Old Work in Progress, Part 1

As you know, the 99th Convention adopted a financial package that will raise $1.2 million in additional revenue annually for the Federation, from 2014 onward. The delegates debated and eventually affirmed the financial measures through a simple voice vote—bypassing the time-consuming roll-call vote process that has historically accompanied convention financial resolutions. This was seen as […]

FIM: Action Speaks Louder than Words

Following is the text of the keynote speech I delivered February 25, 2014 in Oslo, Norway on the occasion of the 3rd International Orchestra Conference hosted by the International Federation of Musicians (FIM). On behalf of the entire membership of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, the largest labor union […]

Bargaining Hard in the Jingle and Orchestral Media Industries

As previously reported in this column, the Federation recently opened two sets of industry-wide media negotiations for the purpose of concluding successor agreements for musicians working in two distinctly different sectors. On December 16, 2013, we exchanged proposals with an association of symphonic, opera, and ballet employers toward the goal of updating and improving our […]

Dick Gabriel Retires as Head of EMSD, Bill Thomas Succeeds Him

Dick Gabriel, who served Local 47 and the Federation in various capacities for more than 35 years, most recently as director of our Electronic Media Services Division, retired on January 16, closing a career that has benefitted thousands of professional musicians.

Negotiations in Progress:Film, Jingles, and Symphonic Media

As we close a dynamic and energetic 2013 and look ahead toward a productive new year, negotiations for constructive, successor media agreements with the film, jingle, and symphonic employment sectors will dominate my work schedule early on. That said, despite the contentious nature of labor negotiations, the bargaining table is a place I relish because […]

Stronger Together: An Interview with President Hair

by Gail Kruvand, AFM Local 802 Executive Board The following article was reprinted from the November 2013 issue of Allegro, the magazine of AFM Local 802 (New York City). For more information, visit: For this interview, President Hair spoke with Local 802 member and bassist Gail Kruvand, who serves on the Local 802 Executive […]

Orchestra Board Should Feel Heat for Lockout

Below is the text of my speech given at a rally in downtown  Minneapolis on October 1, 2013, the one-year mark of the Minnesota Orchestra lockout. You can see it at We come together today to mark what happened exactly one year ago—the board of directors of the Minnesota Orchestra Association decided to use […]